AMESBURY — Coming off a loss to North Reading Wednesday, the Amesbury softball team rebounded with a walk-off victory against Andover yesterday.
The Indians (5-1) won in dramatic fashion, thanks to a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning from Amanda Schell that would send the Warriors on their way, 6-3.
"We're still struggling, but we do some things pretty good," Indians coach Chris Perry said. "We got three runs in the last inning but not much offensively. Not much happened. But we're working on it, we'll try to get a little better as we go along. We'll see what happens."
The Indians (6-1) were looking to get on the boards right away after Wednesday's loss, since losing is not something they do very often. In the bottom of the second inning, they got their chance, when an Erin Leary single led to her stealing second and grabbing third on a passed ball. McKenzie Cloutier walked, and a Jenna Bartley triple scored Leary and Cloutier to give Amesbury the 2-0 lead.
The Indians grabbed another run in the bottom of the fifth, courtesy of an Alexis Boswell home run out to center field.
Indians pitcher Carolina Merrill kept dealing, holding the Warriors (3-4) scoreless up until the top of the seventh inning when things started to get rough. Warrior Molly Awiszus sent a single through second base. Shannon Tully slapped a rocket out past shortstop to put two on next, and Mimi Onley smashed a homer out to centerfield to tie things up.
Instead of heading home early, the Indians were now in a fight for their lives going into extra innings after they went down in a row in the bottom of the seventh. Andover put two runners on with only one away, but Merrill induced two pop-ups in a row to get out of the jam.
The bottom of the eighth saw the Warriors' streak of luck in the seventh inning reversed on them when Janine Fatal singled to center. Cassie Schultz reached on an error at third base to put the winning run at second. Then, Schell strode to the plate, was worked to a 1-2 count, found her pitch and kept running all the way home.
"I knew that my run didn't matter," Schell said of her big hit deep into centerfield. "I know that it was just Janine's run that mattered at second. It was just an awesome feeling running around knowing that my teammate just scored and we won the game."
"I didn't see that coming; I was planning for my next offense," Warriors coach Steve Tisbert said of Schell's game-winner. "I thought we were going to be out of that inning there. That ball, she hit it just right. There's not much you can do."
"We had a nice comeback," Tisbert said. "We had a couple of key hits. We made a couple of mistakes early that cost us a couple of runs. But Amesbury didn't quit."
Never satisfied, Perry always sees ways to improve.
"We kind of gave it away in that last inning there," Perry said of Andover's comeback in the seventh. "I thought we should have gotten them in regulation. But we came back."